Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 1st August

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

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Comments (250)

  • SG says:

    Morning all
    Has anyone got a free number for BA Executive Club?Used to call 0800727800 and be directed but since yesterday two agents in a row answered working from home and giving me a 0333 number which I believe is premium number

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      No 03 is a non-geographic version of 01 and 02 – basically ordinary rate and included in your free minutes

    • RussellH says:

      03xx numbers are NOT premium nos.

      They are charged (by law, for mobiles as well as real phones) at the same rate as you pay for geographic nos. ie 01 / 02 nos. If you have inclusive minutes for 01/02, then you have them for 03 as well.

      Premium rate is 09. Expensive rates are 084 / 087.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        If you go far enough into the past the numbers beginning 08 were meant to be good numbers but they became bad when most people used mobiles with free minutes. 09 numbers are the true premium rate (can be very expensive). Back when the majority used landlines 0845 was local rate regardless of where you called from and 0870 was national rate. Then a dial up ISP ‘Freeserve’ came along. It was called free because it used an 0845 number which meant you paid local rate but at that time every ISP required a local rate call. They made money from their share of incoming call revenue. Then other providers of 08xx numbers offered companies that used these numbers a cut of incoming call revenue.

        Mobile phone operators generally didn’t include these numbers with free minutes. As most packages now include lots of free minutes or unlimited minutes these numbers became unpopular with customers. For many years most mobile operators even charged for free 0800 numbers, now by law they can’t.

        So the 03xx number series was created to serve the original purpose of the 08xx numbers to provide a non geographic block of numbers. This time it was stipulated that operators have to treat them the same as 01 and 02 numbers so they need to be included in free minutes and if no free minutes charged the same as a call to a landline.

        If you go back even further 08457 was originally 0345… now that makes me feel old

      • C says:

        And my wife discovered yesterday the government is now giving out 0844 numbers (this was not a scam – she was told to call an 0844 number by an operative at the 0800 number on the ukba website). Or there is the 0900 number set up by the monopoly private provider of essential government services. Wonder who is profiting on those….

        • Lady London says:

          It is illegal for an entity to only provide excess-chargeble numbers to their customers. There must always be a free (0800) number or 01 02 or 03 number and it must be easy for customers to find and see. Companies who only provide numbers easily visible that cost more than 01 02 03 can be reported to Ofcom regulator.

          This became law in Oct 2016 or 2018 (I DNRC which)

  • Dave1985 says:

    Happy 1st of August!

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      First full month of ‘freedom’ in the UK 😁

      • Dave1985 says:

        Good/positive way of looking at things, Save East Coast Rewards!

      • Jonathan says:

        Not quite, since Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland all have their own choices on how they control their lockdown, and some of those restrictions are still in place, and these places are part of the UK

        • Dave1985 says:

          England then!

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          As far as I know there’s currently no restrictions on travelling between the UK nations so you can always visit England without the need to quarantine on return. Currently living in Italy I can’t visit my home country without going through hoops! That’s frustrating but on the plus side I still have a lot of Italy to explore and I can go to other EU countries with minimal restrictions

          • Dave1985 says:

            Italy really is a great country to visit. Some places have one or two cities worth visiting, Italy has many. Great food too!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Still on that train?

      • Dave1985 says:

        Still in bed after a great night out, TG Loyalty!

        Hope you’re having a good weekend!

    • Andrew says:

      And certainly not much freedom to travel

    • SteveJ says:

      Dave1985 I for one certainly appreciate the positive outlook you bring every day, glad to have some cheer on here and not all doom and gloom!

    • Sandra says:

      Happy Yorkshire Day 😀

    • Tony1 says:

      Happy Yorkshire Day

  • Rui N. says:

    My Curve (blue) expired yesterday. My spending limits have resetted (doesn’t really matter now, given the £1.4 million cap). My daily limit went down from £4500 to £2000. Is this what usual happens? Do they lift it back up if you ask?

    • The Streets says:

      Have they sent you a new Curve Card? Same thing happened to my Dad but nothing arrived yet

      • Rui N. says:

        They did not send a new one. I’ve complained last weekend, and now the app tells me it will arrive tomorrow.

    • Harrier25 says:

      Yes, they will raise limits back if you contact customer support.

      • Rui N. says:

        Thanks Harrier. I’ll do that (and report back if any issues arise!).

      • Jonathan says:

        Will they? They refused to increase my limit back to 4500 & even denied it had ever been more than 2000 when I downgraded from Metal to Blue.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Has anyone had any luck increasing the daily 4500? I know some have reported 9000 even before the crazy annual limits

      • Harrier25 says:

        They increased my limits fine when my dropped. They will review your transactions first, so If you’re taking the mickey with loads of MS transactions, then no, they probably won’t increase your limits.

    • BP says:

      Mine also expired and they haven’t yet sent me a new card despite me contacting them at least 4 times over the last 2 weeks.

  • Anish says:

    Morning everyone, apologies if this question has already been answered but couldn’t find it in the HfP FAQs.

    Just got my BAPP a month ago and avios have only transferred once. How often are avios transferred from Amex to my Exec Club account? I have thousands that are ‘to be transferred’ that have been sitting there for a couple of weeks now. My first and only transfer was done about 5 days after I started spending. Cheers

    • Doug M says:

      Once a month a few days before the statement date.

    • JDB says:

      I receive my Avios in my BAEC account monthly on the 1st/2nd of the month. My statement date is 7th, so I’m not sure if I am getting them 5/6 days before my statement date or straight after the end of the calendar month, but someone with a statement date later in the moment can no doubt confirm.

    • AJA says:

      I receive my Avios on 8th of each month. My statement date is 13th. Avios cut off seems to be 4th of each month as any earned after that date only credit on 8th of the following month.

  • Matt says:

    Is there any sign of a replacement Miles & More card for the U.K. market coming soon?

    • Doug M says:

      Given Rob used to use this I think he’d definitely cover it if there were. Like ‘new’ Hilton card it seems very unlikely.

      • Jonathan says:

        Miles and More have implied that there will almost certainly be a replacement card, that was promised this summer

        It’s not like other glory credit cards that vanished, almost certain never to return new applications, like (by the way things look currently) IHG Black, and Hilton

        We’ll just have to wait for some news on this one, the ever so fun waiting game !

        • Rob says:

          For various reasons, not all of which are public, I am far less confident now that a new card will appear.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            What are the chances of becoming an MR partner ?

          • Rob says:

            Probably nil – and it wouldn’t stop miles expiry either.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I know but it would help to top up to get a 1st class flight before they all expire.

            Bonvoy might be the only route.

        • NC says:

          So if there’s no new card – do we need spend all our miles by the end of December or risk expiry?

          • Rob says:

            From 31 March 2022, miles which are 3 years old will automatically expire at the end of each quarter.

  • DZOO says:

    Flying Greece to Italy (will have been outside UK and fully NHS vaxxed for >2 weeks) – am I correct in thinking that no pre-flight test or quarantine is required (latest from Italy is that NHS vax certs are recognised). TIA

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Officially you need to be outside the UK for 14 days if you don’t want to quarantine in Italy. If you’ve been outside the UK less than 14 days then strictly speaking you’d need to quarantine.

      Personally I’d advise getting a test before travelling to Italy. Strictly speaking you shouldn’t need it as they’re going to recognise UK proof of vaccination but when you’re dealing with different airports and the staff there need to remember the rules for different places they can make mistakes and so it’s less hassle if you can just pull out a test certificate.

      You also need to complete an online PLF before entering Italy. However I have travelled between Spain and Italy numerous times and although they always check I’ve completed the Spanish PLF when going to Spain nobody has ever checked when I’ve flown to Italy but it doesn’t take long to complete and it’ll save hassle in case they do check

  • BSI1978 says:

    Online Avios to Nectar transfers obviously back up and running, but how long on average are they taking to land?

    Presumably not 10 days still……?!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It’s just a form isn’t it? Not automated.

      I saw comments yesterday saying people were waiting 10+ days

    • Andrew says:

      Yes it seems the actual instant transfer tool that was available when the partnership first launched has not been fixed – all that’s been done is that we input our own request into a database for a bulk transfer every couple of weeks, rather than giving those details to someone on the phone to input.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Mine was same day, maybe I got lucky but who knows

  • Dave says:

    I was just about to request a FTV for a domestic one-way flight booked using avios and 2 x BA 241 vouchers and I noticed something odd in the FAQs:

    “Can you combine your voucher with Avios towards a new flight, hotel, car or holiday booking?

    No. Vouchers cannot be combined with Avios, they can only be used either to redeem against fully paid flight bookings or towards a deposit/full payment of a holiday package.”

    Any idea what this refers to? I was planning to eventually use the FTV towards 4 long haul reward flights in CW but this appears to indicate I can’t?

    I thought at first that this must only apply to e-vouchers but it’s from the FAQ section for all voucher types.

    • Dave says:

      For calirity, I want to book 4 seats, not 4 flights.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      That’s referring to flight or holiday evouchers/FTVs where you paid with cash (complex cash bookings can’t always be converted to online evouchers). You can’t use them to discount an Avios booking. A voucher that includes Avios and a 2 for 1 can be used in a future Avios booking.

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